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Lantz Lake Side Plumbing

(512) 267-1188

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Reverse Osmosis Filter System How Does it Work

Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems (Details & Benefits)

The reverse osmosis process is a filtration method used to remove impurities from water. The process uses pressure to force water molecules through a semipermeable membrane which traps impurities leaving the water much cleaner. Reverse osmosis systems are becoming popular as they offer many benefits over conventional filtration methods and are extremely effective in filtering large volumes of water each day.

At Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC, we understand the importance of clean water. Our reverse osmosis systems are built to remove impurities from water, including dissolved minerals, bacteria, and viruses. Our reverse osmosis systems meet the needs of any home or business, and our knowledgeable staff can help you select the perfect system for your needs. 

Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC proudly serves Lago Vista, Cedar Park, Leander, Liberty Hills, Marble Falls, Jonestown, and surrounding areas in the greater Austin area. To learn more, visit our water quality page.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work

A reverse osmosis system is a filtration system that removes contaminants from water by using pressure to force water molecules through a semipermeable membrane. This filtration process is called reverse osmosis because it reverses the flow of water. Normally, water molecules flow from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. However, when reverse osmosis is used, water molecules are forced to flow in the opposite direction, from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration. As a result, contaminants are left behind, while clean water is able to pass through the membrane.

The reverse osmosis system has three parts: the semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane, the pressurized water trap, and the holding tank. The reverse osmosis membrane is a thin film composite (TFC) that allows only water molecules to pass through while rejecting larger molecules such as dissolved salts. The pressurized water trap is used to store water that has been purified by the reverse osmosis process. The holding tank is where the purified water is stored until it is needed.

Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse osmosis systems provide the following benefits when used in various applications:

  • Reduces harmful dissolved contaminants – The reverse osmosis (RO) process works by pressurizing water and forcing it through a semipermeable membrane that only allows water molecules to pass through it while trapping harmful contaminants.
  • Improves Taste – RO systems improve the taste and smell of water by removing chlorine and other chemicals.
  • Environment-friendly RO systems reduces the need for bottled water and reduces the number of plastic bottles that are disposed of.
  • Easy to install and maintain – RO systems are easy to install and require minimal maintenance.
  • Fits under the kitchen sink – RO systems can easily be installed under the kitchen sink, making them a convenient way to get clean, safe drinking water.
  • Saves Money – RO systems save money by eliminating the need to buy filtered water.

Where to Use a Reverse Osmosis System

A reverse osmosis water filter can be used in the following places.

Places Yes/No
Under Sink Yes
For a Refrigerator Yes
For the Whole House Rarely
For Showers No
For Pools No
For Wells Yes
For Apartments Yes
For Businesses Yes
For an Aquarium Yes
In RVs (Recreational Vehicle) Yes

Stages of RO Filtration Systems

A reverse osmosis filtration system typically consists of several stages, each of which serves a specific purpose in the purification process.

  • Sediment Stage – The first stage is known as the sediment stage, during which water is passed through a pre-filter in order to remove any large particles such as dirt and sand. 
  • Carbon Stage – In the carbon stage, water is passed through a carbon filter in order to remove impurities such as chlorine and chemicals. 
  • Reverse Osmosis Stage – During the reverse osmosis stage, water is forced through a semipermeable membrane in order to remove smaller particles such as viruses and bacteria. 
  • Remineralization Stage – The fourth stage is the remineralization stage, during which water is passed through a mineral cartridge in order to restore any lost minerals. 
  • Storage Tank – In the storage tank, filtered water is stored until it is needed.
  • Optional or application-specific water treatment stage(s) – Here, water may be treated for a specific purpose, such as removing iron or softening hard water.

Reverse Osmosis System Upgrades

Reverse osmosis filtration systems have the following upgrades that enhance their functionality.

  • Permeate Pump – Improves the efficiency and production of RO systems by recirculating the permeate (or filtered water) back into the system.
  • Anti-Microbial Tubing – Prevents the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in the system. This upgrade is especially important for systems that use water from sources that may contain bacteria or other microorganisms.
  • Refrigerator Connection Kit – Allows RO systems to be connected to a refrigerator.

Types of Reverse Osmosis Membranes?

Two common types of household membranes in an RO system are the Thin Film Composite (TFC or TFM) membrane and the Cellulose Triacetate (CTA) membrane.

  • Thin Film Composite membrane is a type of reverse osmosis membrane that is composed of two thin layers of material. The first layer is made of a porous material that allows water to pass through it, and the second layer is made of a non-porous material that prevents impurities from passing through it. The Thin Film Composite membrane is effective at removing a variety of impurities, including dissolved solids, bacteria, and viruses. 
  • Cellulose Triacetate membrane is semipermeable. It allows water to pass through while rejecting larger molecules such as salts and contaminants. The membrane is made of cellulose triacetate, which is a strong synthetic material. The pores in the membrane are small enough to allow water molecules through, but they are too small for most contaminants. As a result, the reverse osmosis system can remove impurities from water, making it safe to drink.

How Long Do Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems Last?

RO systems operate for many years (usually 10-15 years). the specific lifespan depend on the quality of the unit, the frequency of use, and the frequency of maintenance. With proper care and regular replacement of filters, RO systems can provide years of clean, fresh water.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and maintenance as RO membranes and filters must be replaced periodically.

Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC Provides Quality Water Filtration Solutions

Lantz Lakeside Plumbing & AC is a family-owned service company that offer a variety of reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration systems. Schedule a free in-home water test where a company representative will analyze your tap water and make recommendations on the best water filtration for your specific needs or applications.

Call us today at  (512) 267-1188 to learn more about our water filtration solutions or to schedule a free in-home water test.

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